Senate Secures Second Amendment Win for Veterans

 

The Senate today passed a bill package including Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) amendment to protect veterans’ Second Amendment rights from bureaucrats at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“Unelected bureaucrats shouldn’t be able to strip veterans of their Second Amendment rights unilaterally. The Senate did the right thing for veterans and all freedom-loving Americans by passing my amendment today,” said Kennedy.

Current law requires the VA to send a veteran’s name to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) whenever a fiduciary is appointed to help that veteran manage his or her VA benefits. Placement on NICS blocks veterans from purchasing or owning firearms.

Because unelected bureaucrats at the VA ultimately decide—without a court ruling—whether veterans receive help from a fiduciary and therefore end up in NICS, current law denies veterans due process and infringes on veterans’ right to bear arms.

Kennedy’s amendment included in today’s package changes current law to prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from sending a veteran’s personal information to NICS unless a judge rules that the veteran is a danger to himself or others.

Background

  • In the 116th Congress, Kennedy introduced the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act.
  • In the 118th Congress, Kennedy and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) re-introduced the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act with six co-sponsors.
  • In Oct. 2023, the Senate passed an amendment based on the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. The same language passed into law as part of a package in March 2024.